Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Brian Cowen TD
I have been informed by the Secretary of State of his decision to suspend the operation of the Assembly and Executive from this evening. I have asked him for an urgent meeting and we will meet tomorrow morning at Hillsborough.
The full and stable operation of the institutions is a crucial part of the progress we are seeking to achieve. I have, therefore, strongly urged the Secretary of State to ensure that the period of suspension is as short as possible and that the Assembly and Executive are restored without delay.
We have made very significant progress across the range of outstanding issues in recent weeks and days. The early restoration of the institutions is vital if we are to build on what has been achieved and to take our work forward in the period ahead. The Irish Government believes that not one working day should be lost in resolving the outstanding problems so that the Agreement is fully implemented.
I call on all of the parties to reflect carefully on the seriousness of our situation and to approach the work that remains to be done in a positive and constructive manner.
The Governments will remain in the closest contact in the period ahead. Top